Tuesday, January 25, 2011

February "No-Buy Month"

This is an experiment that I've tried in the past and failed spectacularly at. The idea is, for the month of February (since it's so short, this is painless!), you buy nothing except essentials like gas, food, utilities and rent/mortgage. The outcome, is that you'll save a significant amount of money that you can then use to pay down debts or bolster your savings.

Well, I went a little crazy when I tried this, alienated my friends and on the last day of February I went to the mall and shopped with abandon. I honestly felt deranged. Clearly I'm not cut out for a super-strict philosophy.

I'm tempted to try it again though, but obviously I'll have to make some changes. For the past several months, my clothing spending has been out of control. I really, really need to reign it in. Yes, February is the month retailers start rolling out all the cute new summer clothes (seriously, why do they do that? Then I have to wait four months before I can actually wear them), and I always get tempted by the sundresses, but I will avoid, avoid avoid.

February= no buying clothes month with one caveat. I need a new pair of black flats. My current pair are falling apart, but I can't find a pair that I actually like that are in my size, if I do find them, I'm allowed to buy them.

Looking over the rest of my spending for 2011 so far, I'm doing well in all categories. My recent vacation was paid for with my travel fund, so I'm fine there, but I also haven't really worked at one of my jobs all month, so my earnings are about half what they should be. I need to dial back the spending and get back on track.

The no-buy month rules are as follows:
  • No clothes--except for black shoes if I find them
  • Keep all other categories well under budget
  • I rarely go out to eat anyway since I work all nights, but since I only get two days off a month, I'm not going to cut it out completely, BUT I am only allowed to eat out at a restaurant where I already have a gift certificate or Groupon.
If I adhere to these rules and earn my regular income, I should be back on financial track by March! Anyone else going to attempt a No-Buy Month?

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